Manner of teaching, learning and socialisation. Analyses of teachers’ moves and students’ meaning making in science education

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The aim of this thesis is to study teachers’ manner of teaching and its role for students’ meaning making. In order to shed light on this interplay, a methodological approach, based on pragmatism, a sociocultural perspective on learning and Wittgenstein’s later works, is developed and applied. As the methodological approach is designed to study meanings as constituted in action, the empirical material consists of conversations between teachers and students. The practice in focus is science education in Swedish compulsory school.

The thesis includes four case studies. In the first study, the method EMA (Epistemological Move Analysis) is developed with the aim of describing teachers’ role for the students’ learning of scientific knowledge. In the second study, another method – CACM (Communication Analysis of Companion Meanings) is developed and illustrated. With CACM, epistemological norms and companion meanings are analysed in order to describe students’ socialisation into a specific practice. In the third study, CACM is used to analyse and describe two central epistemological norms and companion meanings in three teachers’ teaching. The fourth study seeks to describe in full one teacher’s manner of teaching in terms of educational philosophy and selective tradition. Using the developed approach, an analysis of one teacher’s teaching during the course of four lessons is conducted.

The results show that, without prescribing teachers and students a specific view of science, it is both possible and fruitful to study how meanings are constituted in action in classroom practice. At the same time as the students learn scientific knowledge, they are also socialised into specific ways of approaching science. Teachers’ epistemological moves, in encounter with students’ meaning making, play an important role for students’ learning in science as well as about science.

List of papers

The thesis is based on the following papers.

  1. Lidar, Malena, Lundqvist, Eva & Östman, Leif (2006). Teaching and learning in the science classroom: The interplay between teachers' epistemological moves and students' practical epistemology. Science Education, 90; 148-163.Lundqvist,
  2. Eva & Östman,Leif (2009). To investigate the normativity of science education. Epistemological norms and companion meanings in the interplay between teachers and students.
  3. Lundqvist, Eva, Almqvist, Jonas & Östman, Leif (2009). Epistemological norms and companion meanings in science classroom communication. Science Education, accepted.Lundqvist,
  4. Eva, Almqvist, Jonas & Östman, Leif (2009). Teacher in action. Manner of teaching and institutional tradition.

Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030;49ISBN 978-91-554-7423-22009


Eva Lundqvist

Uppsala university

Department of curriculum studies

SE-75002 Sweden

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